How to order wine like a pro

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There’s nothing better than a long lunch with friends, or an intimate dinner with a loved one. We all enjoy the spoil of some time out; eating good food and, of course, drinking good wine. But then, there’s the choice of which wine to order.

We understand that it’s a nerve-wrecking moment – you are at the restaurant, and the waiter hands you a leather-bound wine list, and even for the seasoned wine drinker, the pages and pages of wine choices can be daunting.  

Marco Ventrella, KWV Viticulturist advises, “Go for wine that you like and enjoy. You can’t go wrong with that. If you don’t know any of the wines try telling your server what wine you normally like and this will help you make the right recommendation.” 

However, for new wine drinkers, we understand that this may not be so simple – and At KWV we want you to enjoy your wine without any intimidation and to help make your dining experience a classic one, here are some more tips on how to order wine like a pro. 

1.  Enjoy the moment

Whether it’s lunch or dinner there’s no rush. This is your time to unwind, and to enjoy the moment. Remember, there are no steadfast rules, and these tips are just here to guide you. The only important factor is that you have a good time. 

2.  What’s for Dinner

Certain wines go with specific foods better than others. A good starting point is to decide on what you will be eating before ordering the wine – this is because some foods can enhance a flavour. For example, salt will exaggerate a foods bitterness.  If you’re eating seafood, then a KWV Classic Chenin Blanc would be a perfect match; or if you are in the mood for a good piece of steak, then your best call would be to go for a KWV Classic Shiraz. 

Once you know what you will be eating, then simply ask the waiter of sommelier what they recommend would pair best with your meal of choice.

3.  Starting out with drinks?

If your preference is to rather enjoy a few drinks before deciding on what to eat, then that’s okay. If you are with a big party, then red and white blends tend to be a popular drink of choice, and they pair well with most foods because of the blend of varietals.  Or, perhaps you are in the mood for bubbles, and then you’re in luck, because unless you will be ordering a steak or a sweet dessert, it will almost always be compatible.

4.  Glass vs. Bottle

You’ve decided what to drink, but now it’s the glass vs. bottle conundrum. If you are in a group, and you have all decided on the same wine choice, then go for a bottle, as this will end up being less of an expense. If you are looking for variety, or if the party can’t decide which wine to choose then perhaps opt for a glass, and take it from there.  

5.  Take your own!

An easy way to remove the stress out of a dining experience is to take a bottle of your favourite KWV Classic, but call the restaurant ahead of time and ask if you can do so -  and confirm the corkage fee.

Once you have ordered wine, the fun can begin – so sit back, relax, and savour the moment. Cheers!